Commentary

Want To Understand Your Customer? Just Ask

Investment in SEO and SEM has become a core component of any online strategy.  But simply driving large numbers of new customers to a site is not enough; as recent research revealed, 100% of individuals reported receiving information or promotions that were not relevant.

Traditional analytics and multi-variant testing are excellent ways of understanding trends in customer behaviour online. For publishers, the technology allows a review of what a customer has read or watched after the event, which, in theory, enables more relevant content to be presented next time. But since these organizations rarely capture any customer information, content optimization can only remain a blunt tool.

it is well understood within the market that a significant amount of online ad inventory goes unsold. With digital advertisers only paying high CPM for relevant traffic and the right audience, the industry’s lack of any real trusted customer information is undermining the business model.

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Why spendeffort, energy and money to guess what a customer wants, likes and is interested in, when that information is not only readily available but consumers are increasingly keen to share it in order to improve the quality and relevance of the online experience?

Social Insight

Applying social insight online can transform performance: with information on customer hobbies, recent films or TV programs watched, friends, marital status, etc., an organization can transform customer understanding and exploit that understanding to make content more relevant and engaging.

When used in conjunction with existing tools such as content optimization, social profile information is incredibly powerful. Tracking online activity provides trends in behavior that are key to on going strategy and can also be exploited to tailor page content in real time to boost conversion.

Furthermore, each time the customer comes back to the site and uses the social login option, any changes in status – such as from single to engaged – are immediately recognized. This enables an organization to review the customer profile and amend the offers/content as a result to continually build upon the engagement.

Boosting Revenue

Obviously the use of social login has to be compelling for the consumer.  Different industries will adopt various approaches -- such as offering a customer the option to share an article with his social graph, or asking whether or not a program review would be of interest to the customer’s Facebook friends. With each share creating an average 13 additional visits to that site -– with as many as 35 in some cases –- the value goes far beyond increasing the understanding of individual customers.

Indeed, social information finally enables the publishing industry to tap into massive revenue opportunities. The publisher that can leverage social login to offer highlysegmented customer groups - based on not just age and demographics but hobbies, specific product ownership and vacation preference, for example - can begin to demand significantly higher CPM for very targeted advertising. Critically, by providing the advertising industry with access to high quality inventory, publishers can transform the offer, monetize the huge numbers of online customers that have, to date, generated little income and achieve significant additional revenue streams.

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